Priest Drops 22 to Lead St. Mary's Women's Basketball in Season-Opener

Kyaira Priest '21 - Photo Credit: Bill Wood
Kyaira Priest '21 - Photo Credit: Bill Wood

For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · nmoran@smcm.edu

St. Mary's City, Md. – Sophomore guard Kyaira Priest (Lexington Park, Md./Chopticon) poured in a career-best 22 points as the St. Mary's College of Maryland women's basketball team opened up the 2018-19 campaign Friday night. The Seahawks (0-1) saw their 12-point halftime lead evaporate as the Mary Baldwin University Fighting Squirrels (1-0) outscored St. Mary's, 58-35, over the final 20 minutes on their way to an 81-70 season-opening non-conference win.

St. Mary's 70, Mary Baldwin 81

How It Happened

  • St. Mary's built a 7-2 advantage in the first quarter before five straight points by the Squirrels knotted the game at 5:44. The Seahawks widen the gap to six twice on a pair of free throws by junior captain Gina Seifert (Owings, Md./Northern) both times. The two sides scored a combined eight points over the final three minutes and St. Mary's headed into the second period up 23-15.
  • The Seahawks boosted their advantage to 15 with a layup by first-year guard LaTavia Washington (Waldorf, Md./Westlake) at 4:58, capping a 10-3 run to start the second frame. After Nicole Mallon made the first of two free throws, neither side scored and St. Mary's headed into halftime with a 35-23 advantage.
  • Mary Baldwin outscored the Seahawks, 30-11, in the third stanza as Mary Moran contributed 10 on 4-of-5 shooting. Moran's layup at 4:12 capped an 18-6 run which pulled the Squirrels even at 41-41. Ayana Nedd gave MBU its first lead of the game, 44-43, with her layup at 2:32. Moran and Brooke Anders combined for seven of the team's final nine points to send the Squirrels into the final period with a 53-46 lead.
  • First-year guard Kelli Jenkins (Potomac, Md./St. John's College) came off the bench and tallied nine points behind 3-of-6 shooting from downtown to help St. Mary's close the gap to 68-64 with 4:39 to go in the game. The Seahawks would get no closer as the Squirrels ended the game on a 13-6 run.

Inside the Box Score

  • In addition to her 22 points, Priest also finished with a career-best five assists, three rebounds and two steals.
  • Two other Seahawks finished in double figures as senior captain Katie Robey (Kensington, Md./Georgetown Visitation) collected a double-double with 13 points and a career- and game-best 16 boards while junior forward Christine McKee (Frederick, Md./Urbana) equaled her career-highs with 10 points and two blocks plus six caroms. Robey also added six assists and two steals.
  • Sophomore forward Hallie Persell (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) hauled in career-bests of 11 rebounds, four blocks, and two steals to go along with eight points.
  • Four of the MBU starters reached the double-digit plateau as Anders and Leah Calhoun led the way with 23 and 22 points, respectively, while Moran finished with 15 and Nicole Blackburn added 10.
  • St. Mary's earned the win in the rebounding battle with a 50-47 margin while knocking 13-of-15 free throws (86.7%).
  • The Squirrels shot 38.9-percent from the field, including 9-of-21 (42.9%) from downtown.

Up Next for the Seahawks

  • Nov. 11 at Widener (0-0) – Chester, Pa. – 4:00 p.m. 

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